Public Policy Memo Essay

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MEMORANDUM TO: FROM: SUBJECT: DATE: President of the United States [ ] Re-organizing the Government to Combat the WMD Threat xx / xx / xxxx The proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons is the most serious threat to U.S. security today, and will remain so far into the future. Whereas combating proliferation is an inherently government-wide mission, the existing national security architecture has resulted in a series of agency-specific efforts that are often poorly coordinated and fail to take advantage of important synergies. Re-organizing the government to meet the WMD threat therefore requires reforms that strengthen White House management of nonproliferation programs, expand interagency counterproliferation capabilities, and improve WMD-related intelligence. Strengthen White House Management of Nonproliferation Programs The Departments of Energy (DOE), State, Defense (DOD), Commerce, and Homeland Security (DHS) all contribute to U.S. nonproliferation efforts, but receive insufficient top-level program guidance and coordination. For example, DOE did not learn of Libya’s decision to abandon its nuclear program until it was revealed in the press. Moreover, DOE had no plan in place to dismantle Libya’s nuclear assets despite its central role in performing such activities. Finally, proliferation detection R&D projects are currently managed by a community of end users that have overlapping needs but rarely communicate with each other. To prevent future interagency breakdowns, the White House should designate a new seniorlevel Nonproliferation Policy and Program Director (NPD) to oversee all U.S. government nonproliferation programs. The NPD will chair a new National Security Council Policy Coordinating Committee on Nonproliferation (PCC) that will set overarching nonproliferation goals and priorities, develop an interagency strategic plan to achieve

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